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Steven Beach

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Regents Professor of Psychology; Director, Center for Family Research
Clinical Program

Dr. Beach will not be accepting applications for the admission of a graduate student for Fall 2022.


Ph.D. SUNY-Stony Brook, 1985

Research Interests

Epigenetics, Community Intervention, Marital and Family processes, marital discord, depression and anxiety in close relationships.

Some Selected Recent Publications   (Click for full vita below)

Brody, GH, Yu, T, Chen, E., Kobor, M, Beach, SRH, Lei, M-K, Barr, A,  Lin, D, Miller, GE. (in press, 2021 ) Risky Family Climates Presage Increased Cellular Aging in Young Adulthood. Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Barton, A. W., Lavner, J.A., BeachS.R.H. (2021). Can interventions that strengthen couples’ relationships confer additional benefits for their health? A randomized controlled trial with African American couples. Prevention Science, 22,  386–396. doi:10.1007/s11121-020-01175-7. 

Lavner, J. A., Barton, A. W., & Beach, S. R. H. (2020). Direct and indirect effects of a couple-focused preventive intervention on children’s outcomes: A randomized controlled trial with African American families. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88, 696–707. doi:10.1037/ccp0000589

Simons, R. L., Lei, M-K., Klopack, E., Beach, S. R. H., Gibbons, F. X. , Robert A Philibert (online July, 2020). The Effects of Social Adversity,  Discrimination, and Health Risk Behaviors on the Accelerated Aging of African Americans: Further Support for the Weathering Hypothesis.  Social Science & Medicine. Doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113169.

Beach, S. R. H., Ong, M. L., Lei, M. K., Klopack, E., Carter, S. E., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., Lavner, J. A., Philibert, R. A., & Ye, K. (2020).  Childhood adversity is linked to adult health among African Americans via adolescent weight gain and effects are genetically moderated.  Development and Psychopathology, 1-18.  Doi: 10.1017/S0954578420000061  NIHMSID: 1547621

Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H. (Online publication, February, 2020). Can We Uncouple Neighborhood Disadvantage and Delinquency?  An Experimental Test of Family Resilience Guided by the Social Disorganization Theory of Delinquency.  Family Process, 59 (4), Special Issue: Black Lives Matter, 1801-1817.  DOI: 10.1111/famp.12527

Holmes, C.,  Owens, M.,  Beach, S. R. H.,  McCormick, M., Hallowell, E., Clark, U., Barton, A., Brody, G., MacKillop, J., & Sweet, L. (2020). Peer influence, frontostriatal connectivity, and delay discounting in African American emerging adults. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 14, 155-163. doi:10.1007/s11682-018-9977-y

Carter, S., Ong, M-L., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., Man Kit Lei5, Beach, S. R. H. (2019). The effect of early discrimination on accelerated aging among African Americans.  Health Psychology. 38(11), 1010-1013doi: 10.1037/hea0000788.

Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M. K., Simons, R. L., Barr, A. B., Simons, L. G., Cutrona, C. E., Philibert, R. A. (2019). Perceived Relationship Support Moderates the Association of Contextual Stress with Inflammation Among African Americans.  Journal of Family Psychology, 33(3), 338-348. doi: 10.1037/fam0000509.  PubMed PMID: 30742465.


Owens, M. M., Syan, S. K., Amlung, M. T., Beach, S. R. H., Sweet, L. H., MacKillop, J.  (2019).  Functional and Structural Neuroimaging Studies of Delayed Reward Discounting in Addiction: A Systematic Review.  Psychological Bulletin, 145(2), 141-164.  doi:10.1037%2Fbul0000181

Lavner, J. A., Barton, A. W., & Beach, S. R. H. (2019). Improving couples’ relationship functioning leads to improved coparenting: A randomized controlled trial with rural African American couples. Behavior Therapy, 50, 1016–1029. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2018.12.006

Simons, R. L., Woodring, D., Simons, L. G., Sutton, T. E., Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H., Barr, A. B., Gibbons, F. X. (2019). Youth Adversities Amplify the Association between Adult Stressors and Chronic Inflammation in a Domain Specific Manner: Nuancing the Early Life Sensitivity Model. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48(1), 1-16. doi: 10.1007/s10964-018-0977-4. PubMed PMID: 30603835.

Simons, R. L., Lei, M. K., Carter, S., Beach, S. R. H., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., & Philibert, R. A. (2019). Inflammation mediates the effect of discrimination, religiosity, and friendship network on expression of the Tp53 cancer suppressor gene. Social Science and MedicinePopulation Health, 7, 100389.PMID: 31080868.

Hanson, J. L., Gilmore, A. D., Yu, T., Holmes, C. J., Hallowell, E. S., Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R. H., Galván, A., MacKillop, J., Windle, M., Chen, E., Miller, G. E., Sweet, L. H., & Brody, G. H. (2019). A family-focused intervention influences hippocampal-prefrontal connectivity through gains in self-regulation. Child Development, 90 (4), 1389-1401.

Kogan, S. M., Cho, J., Beach, S. R. H., Smith, A. K., Nishitani, S. (2018).  Oxytocin Receptor Gene Methylation and Substance Use Problems among Young African American Men. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 192, 309-315. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.022.

Dogan, M. V., Beach, S. R. H., Simons, R. L., Lendasse, A., Penaluna,B., Philibert, R. A. (2018). Blood-based Biomarkers for Predicting Risk for Five-Year Incident Coronary Heart Disease in the Framingham Heart Study via Machine Learning. Gene9(12), 641;  PMID: 30567402.

Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H., Simons, R. L. (2018). Childhood trauma, pubertal timing and cardiovascular risk in adulthood. Health Psychology. 37(7), 613- 617.  DOI: 10.1037/hea0000609 PMC6002938.

Simons, R. L., Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H., Barr, A. B., Simons, L. G., Gibbons, F.X., Philibert, R. A. (2018).  Discrimination, Segregation, and Chronic Inflammation: Testing the Weathering Explanation for the Poor Health of Black Americans. Developmental Psychology, 54, 1993-2006. DOI: 10.1037/dev0000511  PMID: 30234347.

Andersen, A. M., Lei, M-K., Philibert, R. A., Beach, S. R. H. (2018). Methylation of MTHFR Moderates the Effect of Smoking on Genomewide Methylation Among Middle Age African Americans.  Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 622DOI:  10.3389/fgene.2018.00622

Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R. H., Wells, A. C., Ingels, J. B., Corso, P. S., Sperr, M. C., Anderson, T. N., Brody, G. H. (2018). The Protecting Strong African American Families Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Rural African American CouplesPrevention Science19 (7), 904-913.  DOI: 10.1007/s11121-018-0895-4  (PMID:29629507) PMC6177321.

Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R. H., Bryant, C. M., Lavner, J. A., & Brody, G. H. (2018). Stress spillover, African Americans’ couple and health outcomes, and the stress-buffering effect of family-centered prevention. Journal of Family Psychology, 32(2), 186-196. doi. 10.1037/fam0000376 PMC5905714.

Philibert, R. A., Dogan, M.,  Noel, A., Miller, S., Krukow, B., Papworth, E., Cowley, J., Knudsen, A., Beach, S. R. H., Black, D. W. (2018). Genome wide and Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction Epigenetic Assessments of Alcohol Consumption. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B:  Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 177 (5), 479-488. doi. org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32636

Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M. K., Simons, R. L., Dogan, M. V., Gibbons, F. X., Philibert, R. A. (2018). MTHFR Regulatory effects on methylation of CG05575921 in response to smoking: Effects are also discernable using MTHFR expression. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics. 177 (5), 529-534. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32624  NIHMSID 948391

Windle, M., Gray, J. ,C. , Lei, M-K., Barton, A. W., Brody, G. H., Beach, S. R. H., Galván, A., MacKillop, J., Clark, U. S., Sweet, L. H. (2018).  Age-Sensitive Associations of Adolescent Substance Use with Amygdalar and Frontal Volumes in Young AdulthoodDrug and Alcohol Dependence, 186, 94-101.  Doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.02.007

Teaching Interests

My interactions with undergraduates typically occur in the context of honors projects, directing supervised readings, and supervising research experience.  I continue to be interested in studying community level interventions and their impact of close relationships and health. I require that any student involved in directed research experiences with me be available to meet with me and my team. Many of the interesting discussions take place during this time and I view it as an essential part of the learning process.  Students have the opportunity to see research ideas develop and to discuss those ideas and various methods of psychological research.


Articles Featuring Steven Beach

Dr. Steve Beach was recently named Regents’ Professor, an honor  bestowed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for faculty whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized both nationally and internationally as innovative and pace-…

Congratulations to four faculty members in the Department of Psychology who have recently received national grant awards! Keep up the great work!

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